Growing your eCommerce business is a gradual process. Not least because you’re operating in one of the most crowded and competitive markets in the world.
To generate an uplift in your eCommerce sales conversions you need to get a lot of things right. Helping your users find your site is one thing. Creating a user experience they enjoy being another.
Driving traffic and driving sales are two different things. Therefore you will need to adopt different strategies and tactics to grow these two elements of your website performance.
The common ground between the two, however, is relevance.
Your potential customers need to be confident that your site offers what they are looking for. Not only from a product perspective but in terms of price, user experience, customer service and more.
The better job you do to establish relevance the easier it will be to attract users to your site and convert them into customers.
And ultimately, turn those customers into loyal customers as the relationship develops.
Increasing eCommerce Traffic
Attracting more users to your site is more than just the channels you target. Whether you want to leverage paid, organic or social media, the motivation behind clicking is always the same: Your customers are deciding if your website is relevant to them.
The level of relevance these potential customers feel can vary wildly depending on what they’ve interacted with. The expectations they feel will be profoundly different if they clicked on an ad for a sale item compared to a link to your blog.
Both have relevance, but for different reasons.
However, both customers need to be satisfied with their experience if they are going to shift from the traffic column to the sales conversion column.
To grow your traffic and with it your eCommerce sales conversions, you need to tackle the relevance issue from a number of different directions.
Google makes the rules. There’s no escaping that fact when it comes to organic or paid traffic. If you want users to find your website you need to play by its rules.
If you want your website to rank well for organic traffic you need to get a few things right.
Firstly, your site needs to be well built. It needs to be stable, and well structured with good load times. Slow loading sites are penalised by Google. To be clear, slow is more than a couple of seconds. If it’s not instant, both Google and your customers will assume it’s broken and move on.
Your website also needs to be well optimised. There are two elements to this. The first is your web pages, product pages and product images all need to be SEO friendly.
That is to say, the Google algorithm should be able to understand exactly what it is you’re selling. Stumble at this hurdle and you’ll be playing catch up forever.
You also need to consider producing regular, optimised, pieces of content.
Google likes new content as much as it likes relevant content. Producing a blog or vlog containing relevant content will propel up the search rankings.
The more users engage with your content the more your content gets served in search results. Providing you make your content as relevant as possible, it will continue to drive traffic months or even years after you publish it. You need to produce at least 12 pieces of content a month for your content marketing to gain any traction.
It’s not surprising, then, that the biggest challenge most companies face, not just eCommerce businesses, is the ability to sustain production. So before you embark on any content creation efforts, make sure you have a long-term content plan in place.
If you’re going to use paid search or ads then you need to consider a few things.
Firstly you need to know who you’re trying to reach. The problem here is third-party tracking data which isn’t all that reliable.
Secondly, Google and social media are awash with ads. You need to make sure your ads stand out. The problem is if your brand isn’t well known it can be hard to build trust.
This leads to the third point; your offer needs to be aggressive. To drive traffic to your website and hopefully make some eCommerce sales conversion, you need to make your offer too good to refuse.
This could mean selling that product or products at break even, or at a loss. But providing you’ve got plenty to keep your new customers engaged with, you can hopefully turn a profit.
Finally, whatever you’re offering, make sure that (a) the product is live on your eCommerce website and (b) you’ve got plenty of stock.
Nothing will turn customers away quicker than an ad that – on the face of it – is misleading or a letdown.
With the cost of acquisition going up across all paid channels you want your budget to work as hard as possible. Therefore, fire and forget ad campaigns will only succeed in burning money. Assuming you’ve built your audiences based on your own data, your targeting should be fairly accurate. However, split test your ads to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
A key driver of traffic to your site will be off the back of relevant content. Depending on the products you sell, you’ll need to tailor your content accordingly.
Electronics open up opportunities for reviews, unboxing videos, tips and tricks to maximise computer performance, how-to guides and more.
Fashion content could include style guides on body shape, colours to match skin tone and what looks to match the season.
While there are rules around optimising your content for best performance, the emphasis here is on relevance. The more content you produce that is relevant to your audience and answers their questions about the products you sell, the more traffic you’ll attract.
Calls to Action
Regardless of how traffic comes to your site, ensure you ask them to do something. This is especially true if users come to blogs or landing pages.
Without clear instruction, users won’t necessarily navigate beyond the page they’ve landed on. Direct them towards a category or product page to convert.
eCommerce Sale Conversions
There’s more to turning traffic into those all-important sales conversions than a nice-looking product page or a competitive price. Although both of these will help.
Your customers expect more than a good-looking website and competitive pricing. That is broadly considered the bare minimum in the modern eCommerce landscape.
Therefore you need to be able to offer your customers more if you want to boost your sales. More importantly, retain customers and increase their customer lifetime value.
Retention is key. Repeat customers spend 69% more than new customers and spend more frequently. And it’s cheaper to attract them.
Therefore, eCommerce sale conversions from repeat customers not only have a higher order value, but they’re also more profitable.
This is very good for business.
To retain customers and boost sales consider the following:
A great website, a great customer experience doth not make. Customer experience is the catch-all term for any activity that adds meaningful value when the customer engages with you. Be that on your website or via another channel.
The more effort you go to, the greater the experience.
Knowing where to start can seem difficult but essentially it comes down to where you want to deliver the most value first.
Your website is an obvious place to start, as are your customer-targeted communications.
By personalising both you create a unique customer experience for every one of your returning customers.
The more they shop with you the better the experience becomes. The ability to personalise the shopping experience will serve as a key differentiator when customers determine relevance.
Part of creating a great customer experience is personalised communications. The data you hold on each of your customers allows you a far greater degree of personalisation than you might realise.
If you’re able to leverage this data you can send emails to your customers containing the products they want to see, rather than the products you think have the broadest appeal.
This is a major move away from the way the majority of eCommerce businesses operate. The traditional approach operates under one of two assumptions.
- Your customers are happy to be marketed to in this way.
- At least one product in the email will appeal to the recipient and that’s acceptable.
Neither of these things is true and results in a poor engagement rate and negligible eCommerce sale conversions off the back of the email.
This makes email marketing wasteful both in terms of the cost and the goodwill you burn with your customers.
This results in another assumption – email marketing doesn’t work.
Email marketing is one of the most effective tools you have in your marketing toolbox. Providing it’s done correctly.
Leverage your first party to create tailored email campaigns that engage with your customers about the things that are relevant to them. That means sale emails that feature products they might actually buy.
Or a new season email featuring clothes in their size.
As with your online customer experience, the more data you ingest into your customer data platform, the more accurate your communications become.
This includes other forms of outreach marketing too. SMS and push notifications can be personalised in a similar way to better interact with your customers.
Reduce Churn and Abandonment
Reducing customer churn and basket abandonment is a highly effective way of growing your customer base and increasing your sales.
Customers lapse or churn because they no longer see your business as relevant. Again, relevance can take many forms. They may have churned because they can’t afford the product or no longer have use for them.
However, it’s more likely they churned because they found the product cheaper or the service better somewhere else.
Using the data available to you, you can create a personalised email campaign to entice churned customers back. Using the order data you have for each customer, you can send an email with product recommendations. You can also include an aggressive discount or promotional offer to sweeten the deal.
The bog standard ‘we miss you’ email with a discount code isn’t as effective as you think. Because it overlooks the fact that the customer doesn’t have a reason to spend money with you, a discount is of little value.
Combine it, however, with products that might be of interest and the relevance starts to return.
Using similar principles you can use email, SMS and push notifications to prevent customers from abandoning their baskets.
Although many customers abandon their basket because they’re not ready to buy at that moment in time, you don’t want them shopping around.
Use these channels to remind customers what they’ve left behind. Use their order history to make relevant cross-sells and up-sells. And chuck in a discount for good measure.
Ultimately, losing 10% on a sale is better than losing 100% because they went elsewhere.
By far one of the best ways of growing your eCommerce sale conversions is to build a loyal and engaged customer base.
Loyalty and how loyal customers are rewarded can take many forms. There is no shortage of loyalty programme models you can adopt.
The main thing is to make your loyal customers feel valued and appreciated. Rewards don’t have to be financial or physical. Exclusive content, early access to sale or new season items, or a community forum are all effective ways to build loyalty.
Combine this with a personalised user experience on the website, and tailored emails and you will have a very content, nurtured and spend-happy customer base.
Loyal customers significantly outspend returning customers so any investment on your part in terms of discounts or exclusive sales will be more than recovered.
Providing you keep your loyal customers engaged and happy, they will continue to spend. Moreover, they will advocate for you. They will tell their friends and family about your business and the incredible service you provide.
Those new customers will already be engaging with you from a positive mindset. The trust has already started to build. This makes them more likely to purchase, rather than exit and is likely to increase the value of their first order.
As a sweetener, you can introduce a referral scheme so your loyal customers and the person they’ve recommended, get a little something for their trouble.
The Single Customer View
All of this is achievable through a customer data platform – preferably one with engagement functionality built in.
A CDP can pull all your data – from all the disparate sources – together into one place. This creates a Single Customer View. This one-stop customer profile holds all the data for each of your customers.
This allows you to create highly segmented campaigns, allowing you to present your customers with the information and products that interest them.
In doing so you drive up engagement, build trust and increase your eCommerce sale conversions.
To learn more about how a customer data platform can transform your eCommerce business, get in touch today to request a demo.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.